Wisdom Tooth Extraction for Those Over 40

Did you know that your wisdom teeth are a relic of human evolution? Prehistoric man had a larger jaw, which could accommodate a total of 12 molars, and they didn’t have to worry about them getting impacted as they grew. As times have progressed and man has evolved, our jaws have grown smaller, making it difficult to accommodate the last 4 molars (now called wisdom teeth). This is why, while some of us have healthy wisdom teeth with no problems, others need to get them extracted when they begin to surface.
As your wisdom teeth grow, sometimes their path is blocked by gum, bone or even another tooth. In some cases, the tooth never breaks through the jawbone, and in others, only a part of the tooth is seen poking through the gums. In some instances, the tooth can grow at an odd angle, in turn eroding the supporting bone of the adjacent tooth. All of these are termed “impacted teeth” and an extraction (regular or surgical), is the simple solution.
Usually, wisdom teeth are extracted at an early age, during one’s teenage years, at which point the procedure is accompanied with minimal pain and complications. This is because the crown grows first and the roots grow later so at this age the tooth is only partially developed with short roots, if at all.
Sometimes however, the impacted teeth can have no effect on the dental structure making it unnecessary to extract them at this age. They can however act up as one grows older, even when you are over 40 or even 50 years old.
At this point, the once simple process can become fairly tricky, with a higher chance of developing complications. Often by this time adults are apprehensive of the procedure. But if there is a need for extraction at this age, the wisest thing to do is to go for it as soon as possible. Waiting, despite your dentist’s recommendation of surgery can cause major complications as well, including the loss of adjacent teeth. As soon as your wisdom teeth become symptomatic, no matter how old you are, it is imperative to get them extracted.
Will it hurt? Yes, it will. But when the procedure is carried out by a skilled dentist or dental surgeon, you need to trust that you are in good hands. Of course, they will also prescribe the right painkillers to ease the process of healing. Your dentist will also discuss the risks of the procedure at your age and will ensure that you have all the facts needed to help you make an informed decision.

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